New Planted Tank Setup: Need Your Advice! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Question New Planted Tank Setup: Need Your Advice!

Hi Everyone,

My name is Mike, I am some what new to planted tanks but not to the hobby in general. Been in aquariums for over 20+ years, 15 of that with Discus, the rest various fresh and saltwater stuff.

I currently have Discus but I am seriously considering taking it down as I've always wanted to do a beautiful looking planted tank which I see often, but I'm just confused on how to go about setup and feeding, equipment and stuff like that.

Okay so I would like to do say between a 20g-30g size tank with my Renia Filstar x3 canister filter, lights not sure what to get, or I was thinking of getting a JBJ 24G Nano Cube setup which has built in wet/dry , 2 50/50 power compact lights. I'm pretty sure CO2 is a must right? What lights & type should I get?

Now my question is which of the above setup would be good for a tank that has HC ground cover, and some other type of taller plant/s in the mid to background (any suggestions on a type of plant that looks good but also not to hard to grow)? I will probably put some manzanita wood maybe a few rocks, would also like to have some type of Tetras maybe Cardinal, and cleaning crew is a must right? What would be best shrimps/type?

I have seen people start there tanks by adding the soil, then there scape, and if there doing HC they plant that in various spots, but they don't fill the tank with water, it looks as though they mist it several times a day. Why would you do this and how long would you do it for.

What type of ferts should I get, dry or liquid? How often would I dose them?

What soil do you recommend, ADA, Eco complete?

Water changes should be about once a week or every 2 weeks?

What should my water perimeters be?

I am sorry for so many questions but I have read a lot of different things and it seems it has just confused me more than actually answering my questions.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Mike
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 03:12 AM
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Why don't you set up your planted tank blast the lights and CO2 for a month or two to grow things out and then move the Discus over? Some of the nicest planted tanks I've seen are Discus jungles!

And HC loves Aquasoil powder, grows great in my ASII powder tank. I prefer liquid ferts, but that's just my opinion.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 03:35 AM
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Shrimp actually complicate things quite a bit. I love them...and currently have them in my planted tank. But, they really don't "clean" much...and everything becomes a little harder with them. ex. covering your filter intake, ensuring you don't crush them as they hide under everything, fairly tight water parameters, narrow fish compatibility, etc.

My point is that you just want to be sure you have a plan if you intend on adding shrimp.

As for the rest of your questions...it's your tank...and anything you mentioned can work. I'd suggest a lower light level and work your way up if you are unhappy with plant growth. Most people, including myself, start with too much light and then spend a month fighting off the algae before we "figure things out."

As for ferts...so many ways depending on how much light and/or co2 you choose to use. You can always throw the plants in and see what happens. You should probably read up on EI dosing if you haven't...just for some background. If you choose to use the ei system...you can certainly use it and spend less than a minute a day on tank maintenance. It really is very simple.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike2685 View Post
Hi Everyone,

My name is Mike, I am some what new to planted tanks but not to the hobby in general. Been in aquariums for over 20+ years, 15 of that with Discus, the rest various fresh and saltwater stuff.

I currently have Discus but I am seriously considering taking it down as I've always wanted to do a beautiful looking planted tank which I see often, but I'm just confused on how to go about setup and feeding, equipment and stuff like that.

Okay so I would like to do say between a 20g-30g size tank with my Renia Filstar x3 canister filter, lights not sure what to get, or I was thinking of getting a JBJ 24G Nano Cube setup which has built in wet/dry , 2 50/50 power compact lights. I'm pretty sure CO2 is a must right? What lights & type should I get?

Now my question is which of the above setup would be good for a tank that has HC ground cover, and some other type of taller plant/s in the mid to background (any suggestions on a type of plant that looks good but also not to hard to grow)? I will probably put some manzanita wood maybe a few rocks, would also like to have some type of Tetras maybe Cardinal, and cleaning crew is a must right? What would be best shrimps/type?

I have seen people start there tanks by adding the soil, then there scape, and if there doing HC they plant that in various spots, but they don't fill the tank with water, it looks as though they mist it several times a day. Why would you do this and how long would you do it for.

What type of ferts should I get, dry or liquid? How often would I dose them?

What soil do you recommend, ADA, Eco complete?

Water changes should be about once a week or every 2 weeks?

What should my water perimeters be?

I am sorry for so many questions but I have read a lot of different things and it seems it has just confused me more than actually answering my questions.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Mike
Lets see if my .02 cents holds any water

the First thing I would do is decide on what type of tank you would like. A low light tank you could get away with no co2 injection, but it has limited plants available to it. Although you can still get a GREAT low light tank (see the low tech area of the forums, specifically for lauraleep's tanks in the show off thread) That is going to drive the rest of the setup. If you decide on going mid to high light, co2 is going to be required. the DIY setup will not really cut it for that much light so a good pressurized system is a good idea. others can fill in the info on that, as my system was pre built lol.

The problem many people have when setting up a high light tank is well.... too much light. Hobby has a very good light topic in the lighting section. I have a dual bulb T5ho light over my 36g bow front, it is mounted 7" above the top of the tank, which is around 25-26" above the substrate. I have been able to grow just about any plant I want in there. And with the light being suspended from my ceiling, I can raise and lower the light level based on need.

I would avoid anything that has actinic in it. A good range would be 6500k-10,000k range for the lighting. the plants will get very little out of the actinic.

Substrate seems to be a bit of a personal decision lol both the substrates are good, some swear by the ADA, I have not tried it myself. if you need to keep things cheap. you can look at the mineralized soil in the substrate section of the forums.

There are a few fert. methods out there I use EI dosing, which does great! there is a good write up of it in the fert. forums. It dictates 50% weekly water changes to reset the system.

Water parameters are going to be based on what you want to keep. I personally keep my water whatever comes out of the tap.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimpnmoss View Post
Why don't you set up your planted tank blast the lights and CO2 for a month or two to grow things out and then move the Discus over? Some of the nicest planted tanks I've seen are Discus jungles!

And HC loves Aquasoil powder, grows great in my ASII powder tank. I prefer liquid ferts, but that's just my opinion.
Thanks guys for the info!

Shrimpnmoss, the reason why I don't do that is, I only have room for 1 tank so it has to be either or. Also in my opinion to get the best out of your discus it's better to have an empty bare bottom tank. Discus love water changes, keeps them happy. I've seen plenty of planted discus tanks and the discus never really look good, they tend to darken up, shapes are not as good, tend to be on the smaller side. You get the best out of your discus in an empty tank, mixing with plants and maintain healthy looking fish and plants is difficult.

I think I may go custom built 30g 26L x 16.5W x 16H, use my Rena Filstar x3. I might wanna do a low light/tech tank, have seen some nice ones on here and they don't even use CO2.

Noamha,
your right lauraleep's tanks are nice, still can't believe those are low tech tanks.

Is it possible to grow HC in a low tech tank with no CO2 and still have it carpet?

As for lights still not sure, I will get 6500k daylight bulbs but just wanna make sure how many WPG I need.

Any advice on a cleaning crew?

Thanks again!

Mike
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-04-2011, 02:03 PM
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Hey Mike, I'm copying the PM I sent ya here just to keep everything about your tank all in the same place.

Quote:
Hi Mike, welcome to TPT!

I apologize for my slow response, I've been out of the country for the past few weeks.

Yes, all of my tanks are set up as low tech, so I don't need CO2 on any of them and minimal ferts (mostly only root tabs). The substrate in my 29gal is Flourite black.

There's a good list of low light plants at the top of the Low Tech forum. If you haven't already, I recommend you spend some time reading through threads there- sounds like that type of setup is right up your alley. HC doesn't usually carpet well without CO2, but HM will grow... though it usually grows tall rather than hugs the carpet. You might consider Marselia minuta instead?

I run a 2x18 watt Coralife T5NO over my 29gal, but unfortunately I think that fixture has been discontinued so you may have a hard time finding one... a single bulb Hagen Glo T5HO might be a good alternative if your custom tank is going to be a deep one, though. If your tank will be shallow (say 12-15" tall) then you'll need much less light.




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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-04-2011, 02:25 PM
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I would go with dry fertilizers. they in the long run will last you waaaaaayy longer than liquid ones.

Eco complete is #1 on my list.

Let me ask you this, you plan on keeping your discus in a planted tank or no?


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2011, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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lauraleellbp,

Thanks for the help and info. I really appreciate and will definitely use what you said!

oscarsx,

Yeah I think I may go that route with the fertilizers. Thanks......As for the discus I probably won't keep them with the planted tank, will probably just sell them, hate to do it but it might come to that. Plus for grow out stage I like to keep my discus at higher temp 88F-89F. I have 2 in there now which will be about 14 months old in 3 months time and are about 6.5-7" in size. The other 2 are still young and only received those this past January and there about 4" now and where 2" when I received them.

I'd like to keep the discus with plants but not many plants like warm temp. even at 86F it's still to warm for the look I want.

Thanks all!

Mike
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